Pacific Discovery Gap Year Programs are epic!

Our gap year programs combine rugged journeys to some of the most spectacular places on earth, with authentic cultural immersion, language study, rewarding service-learning volunteer projects, and inspiring adventures. You’ll be secure in a supportive group environment and learn more than you ever dreamed.

These gap semesters are based on the concept of experiential education, and blend cultural immersion, personal and leadership development, volunteer and community service projects, ecotourism and sustainability focus, and transferable academic credit options.

They provide opportunities for meaningful connections with local people, pushing personal boundaries, and gaining knowledge of a country or region's history, societies and environments, facilitated by our knowledgeable Program Instructors.

If you are looking for an experience that challenges you, broadens your horizons, and merges cultural insights and environmental sensitivity with fun and adventure - come and explore with us!

Join us on a gap year program after high school or college. These educational semester programs are perfect for high school graduates, gap year students, college students, and graduates, ideally 17 -22 years.

For an incredible gap year, you can combine each gap year program with another of our exciting Fall Semester Programs exploring Central America, South America, Nepal, Southeast Asia, and the South Pacific!

 

Accredited Gap Year Association Programs   Top Rated Gap Year Organization   Voted Best Gap Year Program

 

Not sure where you want to go? Our Program Quiz can help you find your perfect Program match! Or get the full Program run-down in our catalogue. This catalogue provides information about Pacific Discovery's values and program design, as well as program descriptions and testimonials!

Request Online Catalogue

 

  
Review Julia
Julia looking for rainbows in Hawaii

“My program in Hawaii was one of the most fulfilling and incredible things I have ever gotten to do. I got to meet some of the most genuine, incredible people I have ever met, discover my potential, leave my comfort zone behind, embark on some crazy adventures, experience the true simplicity of human connection, laugh until my stomach hurt, push myself in ways I never thought possible, and explore all of the incredible land that Hawaii has to offer. I am so thankful for everything I am taking away from my semester with Pacific Discovery. It was a wild and wonderful journey, and everything about it was absolutely beautiful.” Julia Brown, 2021
Hawaii Semester Program

Hawaii Mini Semester | 6 Weeks

Surfing, Agriculture & Sustainable Living

✓ Get outdoors and learn about sustainable farming techniques on a permaculture farm
✓ Prepare a local Imu feast where we take the food from ground to table
✓ Practice yoga and meditation in Hilo
✓ Surf Lessons based in Kona, the sunny district on Hawai’i Island
✓ Get hands-on in marine conservation and restoration of local ecosystems
✓ Immerse yourself in Hawaiian culture by learning about the heritage, history and importance of canoes


Fall Dates 13 Oct - 23 Nov, 2022
5 Oct - 15 Nov, 2023
Spring Dates 2 Mar - 12 Apr, 2023

Program Tuition $9,975 USD
Availability Open

Costa Rica Mini Semester | 6 Weeks

Homestays, Surfing & Animal Volunteering

✓ Rewarding conservation volunteer project working with an animal rescue center
✓ Spot dolphins on a 3-day kayaking adventure through rainforest-covered hills
✓ Interactive Spanish lessons to give you a more connected experience
✓ Give a local school a helping hand during a community volunteer project in Tinamu
✓ Surf on the pristine beaches of the Pacific coast with professional guides
✓ Live under same roof as a local family for a week to truly immerse yourself in the culture

Fall Dates 13 Oct - 23 Nov, 2022
5 Oct - 15 Nov, 2023
Spring Dates 2 Mar - 12 Apr, 2023

Program Tuition $9,975 USD
Availability Open

Hawaii Gap Semester | 9 Weeks

Conservation, Surfing & Cultural Immersion

✓ Get hands-on in marine conservation and restoration of local ecosystems
✓ Snorkel with majestic manta rays in the reefs of Kona
✓ Practice your surfing skills with the help of a local legend
✓ Get outdoors and learn about sustainable farming techniques on a permaculture farm
✓ Hike through Volcanoes National Park and watch the lava glow from a crater
✓ Immerse yourself in Hawaiian culture by learning about the heritage, history and language

Fall Dates 15 Sep - 13 Nov, 2022
22 Sep - 20 Nov, 2022
14 Sep - 12 Nov, 2023
Spring Dates 9 Feb - 9 Apr, 2023

Program Tuition $14,000 USD
Availability Open

New Zealand & Australia Gap Semester | 10 Weeks

Canoeing, Surfing & Conservation

✓ Rewarding volunteer conservation projects in National Parks and wildlife reserves
✓ Snorkeling with turtles and tropical fish in Byron Bay
✓ Epic West Coast road trip with stops at impressive blow holes and Franz Josef glacier
✓ Attending a Maori indigenous cultural performance and traditional hangi feast
✓ Learning to ride waves during a 4-day surf camp in Australia's East Coast
✓ A stay at Pacific Discovery's very own environmental center in the Marlborough Sounds

Fall Dates 15 Sep - 23 Nov, 2022
22 Sep - 30 Nov, 2022
7 Sep - 15 Nov, 2023
Spring Dates 2 Feb - 12 Apr, 2023
9 Feb - 19 Apr, 2023

Program Tuition $14,495 USD
Availability Open

South America Gap Semester | 10 Weeks

Peru, Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands

✓ Bike and trek the Inca Jungle Trail towards the spectacular Machu Picchu
✓ Volunteer project with an indigenous community in the Andes
✓ Spanish language immersion while traveling through South America
✓ Rafting expedition on the Jatunyacu River in the Amazon Basin
✓ Help hands-on with a conservation and sustainability project in Peru
✓ Visit islands, kayak, snorkel and get up-close with local wildlife in the Galapagos Islands

Fall Dates 15 Sep - 23 Nov, 2022
22 Sep - 30 Nov, 2022
7 Sep - 15 Nov, 2023
Spring Dates 2 Feb - 12 Apr, 2023

Program Tuition $14,495 USD
Availability Open

Southeast Asia Gap Semester | 10 Weeks

Thailand, Laos, Vietnam & Cambodia

✓ Care for elephants during a volunteer project at an elephant sanctuary
✓ Explore the superb temples of Angkor Wat
✓ Find inner peace during a Buddhist meditation retreat led by Thai monks
✓ Trekking through Northern Laos with visits to ethnic minority villages
✓ Explore the best islands and beaches in southern Thailand
✓ Work with an NGO that helps to break the cycle of poverty for at-risk girls in Thailand

Fall Dates 8 Sep - 16 Nov, 2022
15 Sep - 23 Nov, 2022
7 Sep - 15 Nov, 2023
Spring Dates 2 Feb - 12 Apr, 2023
9 Feb - 19 Apr, 2023

Program Tuition $13,750 USD
Availability Open

Nepal Gap Semester | 10 Weeks

Cultural Immersion in the Himalayas

✓ Experience homestays with Nepali families and live like a local for two weeks
✓ Visit a Tibetan Buddhist monastery to gain better insight into monastic life
✓ Trek for two weeks through remote ethnic villages and the rugged Himalayas
✓ Cook authentic Nepali food in a traditional Tharu home
✓ Search for rhinos, elephants and tigers on a jeep safari in Royal Chitwan National Park
✓ Community volunteer project with cultural exchange focus on the foothills of the Himalayas

Fall Dates 8 Sep - 16 Nov, 2022
7 Sep - 15 Nov, 2023
Spring Dates 2 Feb - 12 Apr, 2023

Program Tuition $13,750 USD
Availability Open

Central America Gap Semester | 10 Weeks

Mexico, Belize, Guatemala & Costa Rica

✓ Experience homestays with Guatemalan families and live like a local for a week
✓ Care for sloths and monkeys at an animal rescue center
✓ Learn to scuba dive and explore the underwater world in Cozumel
✓ Get interactive Spanish lessons to give you a more connected experience
✓ Witness volcanoes glowing in the dark from your tent on overnight hikes
✓ Help out on coffee plantations and learn how to cultivate coffee

Fall Dates 15 Sep - 23 Nov, 2022
7 Sep - 15 Nov, 2023
Spring Dates 2 Feb - 12 Apr, 2023

Program Tuition $14,200 USD
Availability Open

Australia & Bali Gap Semester | 10 Weeks

Island Hopping, Surfing & Conservation

✓ Rewarding conservation and wildlife volunteer project in National Parks
✓ Yoga and meditation retreat in Bali’s tropical Ubud
✓ Island hopping and snorkeling in the spectacular Whitsunday Islands
✓ Experience life and work with animals on an outback station
✓ 4WD-safari along beaches and freshwater lakes on Fraser Island
✓ Get involved in marine conservation in the world-famous Great Barrier Reef

Fall Dates 15 Sep - 23 Nov, 2022
7 Sep - 15 Nov, 2023
Spring Dates 2 Feb - 12 Apr, 2023
16 Feb - 26 Apr, 2023

Program Tuition $14,495 USD
Availability Open

Polynesian Journey Gap Semester | 10 Weeks

Hawaii, Fiji & New Zealand

✓ Relax your muscles in New Zealand's natural hot springs and mud pools
✓ Get your hands dirty during a sand dune conservation project in Fiji
✓ Snorkel with manta rays in the reefs of Kona, Hawaii
✓ Get led by a Fijian local through Tapa marking and a Kava ceremony
✓ Practice local farming techniques at a permaculture farm in Hawaii
✓ Attend a Maori (indigenous) cultural performance with a powerful display of haka song and dance

Fall Dates 8 Sep - 16 Nov, 2022
15 Sep - 23 Nov, 2022
7 Sep - 15 Nov, 2023
Spring Dates 2 Feb - 12 Apr, 2023
16 Feb - 26 Apr, 2023

Program Tuition $14,495 USD
Availability Open

Thailand Mini Semester | 6 Weeks

Thai Culture, Jungle Trekking & Elephant Volunteering

✓ Scuba diving course in the the clear waters of Southern Thailand
✓ Rewarding volunteer project working with elephants at an elephant sanctuary
✓ Try your hand at Muay Thai (or Thai boxing), the country’s national sport
✓ Hike and tube in the amazing jungle, rivers and lakes of Khao Sok National Park
✓ Find inner peace during a yoga and Buddhist meditation retreat
✓ Learn about the coral and mangrove population in Thailand, and help to replant some of them

Fall Dates 13 Oct - 23 Nov, 2022
5 Oct - 15 Nov, 2023
Spring Dates 2 Mar - 12 Apr, 2023

Program Tuition $9,975 USD
Availability Open

World Discovery Gap Semester | 12 Weeks

Ecuador, The Galapagos Islands, Peru, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Nepal

✓ Gain travel skills that will help you journey independently through the world
✓ Trek for two weeks through remote ethnic villages and the Himalayan mountains
✓ Experience homestays with Andean families and live like a local
✓ Gain a birds-eye view of the Machu Picchu ruins for sunrise
✓ Learn how to travel internationally with a group (budgeting, logistics, safety)
✓ Cultural exchange and volunteer projects with small communities in Peru and Laos

Spring Dates 11 Jan - 4 Apr, 2023

Program Tuition $18,000 USD
Availability Open